Daily Archives: September 14, 2015

Can’t Watch It

There is a point, once you have played an instrument long enough, that watching other people play becomes challenging. Actually,...

and on the third day she woes again

I’m not going to devote entire posts to grrratitude lists every damn day, just till my spleen is clear of the concept. Despite my antipathy to 90% of this whole process, it’s been a surprisingly interesting couple of days so far. I really am grateful to you for the comments – they’ve soothed me and…

Rounding the Bend

Nice CatI’ve been quite worried about my scaredy cat, Emmett.  It seemed like he just went off the rails completely this summer after being terrified by big, loud men tearing up our apartment, then developing a bladder infection from all that stress.  For the past two months, he’s chosen to live in his gulag—a cat-carrier in the relative dark and quiet of the bathroom with food, water, and litter box nearby.

He seemed tolerant of my visits, purring his BMW purr whenever I reached in to scritch his itchiest spots.  Henry and I coming in and out to attend our own hygiene needs also seemed acceptable.  But, he cringed to the back of his cell when I swept the floor, and literally curled up in a ball when I pulled him out in order to clean the gulag.  I tried not to bother him any more than necessary, but for the last couple of weeks, I combed and pet him during the cell toss.  He needed grooming.  And I needed to touch him.

Em Tempt1
I also tried to bribe him—get him purring then set a treat out on the floor.  He had to actually come out of the carrier to get it, or I’d pick it up and leave.  Being Emmett, he was completely inconsistent.  Some days he would come out three times to get three treats.  Some days he just stared into the corner of his cell, hoping the screw would just leave him alone.Em Tempt2

He also made little forays into the kitchen—slinking low to the floor for a few seconds before dashing back to safety.  If I looked at him, or talked to him—BAM—he was gone. And then, sometimes he’d come right over and arch up to be petted.  All my wiles were hit and miss.

Em Out1I used cat nip a couple of times to see if that would tempt him.  He did stay long enough to roll around in it one evening, so that felt like a small victory.  But, then, he refused to come out at all the next two days.   Contrary, thy name is Emmett.Em Out4

Yesterday, we went through our weekly routine.  I gently pulled him out for grooming and a pep-talk, dumped the stray litter out of his carrier, filled food and water bowls, tidied the boxes, swept the floor.  He popped his head out of the bathroom door a few minutes later, then zipped back inside.  I went to the grocery store.  When I got back, I told Em I was coming in to put things away.

The gulag was empty.

“Henry,” I whispered, “where’s your brother?”

Em 9:13Henry zoomed to the bedroom and jumped on the bed.  There was a familiar lump under the covers.  Henry yodeled non-stop.  The whole house was excited.

“Em.”  I patted him gently through the comforter.  “You came out.”

He didn’t stay when I went to bed last night.  When I pulled back the covers (slowly, and talking the whole time), he grumbled, then bolted.  But, when I came home from the coffee shop this morning, the bed was lumpy again.

This is good.  This is very good.

Everyone heals in their own time—even cats.

Surgery Again!

3rd one this year!  I’m up to have gallbladder surgery on September 23, next Wednesday,.  Hopefully this one will close out the year and I’ll go back to being healthy as a horse from here on out!

Got my assignment turned in to create an internet meme and am getting feedback from my fellow class members.  I really enjoy reading comments–everyone really tries to be upbeat and positive even when criticizing something.  It’s a healthy atmosphere so far. Which I am thankful for.

Go see my therapist tomorrow and I think we may discuss going to even longer in between appointments.  I’m not really having major issues right now, and that money can go towards Christmas for the girls.  I’ll have to talk it over with her and see what she thinks.   I’m really doing well and would like to keep it that way, and if continuing to go will do that, that’s all right too.

The Suckage Of Sleep Disturbance

I hit my wall last night, gave myself permission to cryptify early once I had my kid and myself fed and bathed. My mood was heading toward the gutter and there was absolutely NO trigger. The professionals carry on about identifying triggers for the mood shifts and that’s where I get baffled and irate. If there were triggers, I’d fucking avoid them or develop coping skills. When there is no trigger, what the actual fuck.

So to avoid the subterranean mood, I took a Melatonin. And waited. And waited. Just as I started to drift off… My kid declared she needed to sleep in my bed because I “lied” about getting her the benadryl she wants so she can sleep. Fine, whatever. I hate drugging my kid with that shit, but the doctor okayed melatonin for her and she wants it but since I can’t find liquid melatonin anymore…Jeesh, even my kid has sleep disturbance.

So once again I started to drift off only to be jarred by a six year old elbow to the skull. Then I had to pee. Then the cat knocked the fan out of the window.  Over and over, drift off, wake up with a jolt. I kept checking the clock on my phone, thinking I’d outsmarted myself by going full screen on my computer so I couldn’t clock watch and stress out. Ha. I woke four times between 10 and 11 p.m. I don’t think my body even knows what deep sleep is and that’s what makes you rested. After ten months of this shit, is it any wonder I am short tempered and always exhausted?

I woke and clock checked at least six more times after that. Suckage to the nth.

Least I didn’t have trouble waking up since ya know, I was never actually really asleep. Got the spawn to school, then went to take the first withdrawal from the gofundme thing to my mom. Blarghh. That whole thing is about to send me on another rant, which will surely seem insensitive given their plight and reek of sibling issues but there’s fair and smart and then there’s just plain favoritism and stupid.

The money they got from Red Cross for a new place was handed to my brother in law. Who promptly announced he’d “lost” two hundred of it and had no idea where it went. Could it be factual? Of course. I’ve lost wallets and cash and cards and…it happens, and it’s happened to me more than once. Given his history though…I’m highly suspicious. And why the fuck would you hand the cash over to the ONE person in the family who doesn’t work or even do household chores? He had a chance to get on disability for antisocial personality disorder and was too lazy to even fill out the paperwork, it was too confusing.

17 years of him being handed the keys to the kingdom without earning any of it.

On top of that, the apartment they got only has one bedroom and he and my sister decided to take it and make the two who pay 80% of the bills sleep in the living room. For fuck’s sake. Rude. I’d have put my foot down, but then again, I’d never have ended up in a mess with a man so…shiftless. My sister loves him and I try to respect that but…Arrrghhh.

And listening to my sister tell people how he fixes computers for a living, when in fact, he doesn’t earn shit and does most of it for friends who buy him soda, smokes, and pot…It’s galling. Maybe I don’t work, but my issues are legit. I’ve been to umpteen doctors, counselors, plethora of meds. I still try to get out and do stuff other than play video games on line and sleep…

To add insult to injury mom and her roommate ( brother in law’s mom) are all worried about the two of them having a home once they’re gone. Um, my sis is 36, he’s 35.No one made sure I had a home. No one supported me and my kid for 17 years. If that’s not favoritism I don’t know what is. Besides, if they do die, there goes most of my sister’s income because she gets paid by the aging council to take care of them. How will they afford a mortgage, taxes, insurance…

Then again, I’m the one who’s always had to worry over every tiny thing while they skate by. Yeah, they had a 4K tv, but were calling everyone saying they had no food. I wonder why…Downgrade your lifestyle. Like I enjoy getting dollar shampoo and dollar laundry soap. It does the job and I can manage to get what is necessity.

Love my family but still not sure how it’s possible I am fucking related to them.

Then I have brother in law and his mom questioning me why they’re not getting the full amount listed on the gofundme page. Well, gofundme takes a cut, wepay takes a cut, then my bank charges me for withdrawals, so do the goddamn math. Other than mom putting gas in my car for hauling her around on errands, I’m not getting shit out of it. Being questioned when i’m the one who started it for them is insulting as hell. Visit the page, look at the info listed for the percentages they take out.

I feel shitty for ranting cos at least I have my home (and two brand new smoke detectors with brand new batteries because now my paranoia has skyrocketed) but damn it. I struggle and live like a pauper, all my shit is used, I can’t even afford winter clothes for my kid…And they have a 2013 car and are worried about their damned cable, they’ll go nuts without cable and they need the good shampoo cos their hair feels nasty with the cheap stuff…

Again, I must have been switched at birth. It’s this shit that caused my mom’s family to basically shun her. She was crying this morning, literally, that her relatives haven’t even called to check on her. Been that way for 17 years since her and sis hooked up with that crew.

I want to feel bad. I kinda don’t.

Today’s mood isn’t bad, isn’t great. The anxiety, on the other hand, has teeth like a T-Rex and is gnawing on my innards. I am hoping, even if it brings dark depression, the season change will at least bring the anxiety down to a tolerable volume. Not even the Xanax increase has helped.

And while I am trying to find silver linings here (praying they’re not mercury) the fact is…my anhedonia is complete. I had one brief moment last night when I was bathing my kid and I watched her lathering up and singing, “Gotta wash my bootie…gotta wash my hoohoo…Gotta wash my beard” (her chin)…and it was so sweet and she is so happy and…

It’s like I said to my dad last week when we were at the burned house watching the Kindergarten kids across the street at recess. He said something about how happy they were, how they had so much energy, and I said, “Yeah, because life hasn’t beaten them down yet.”

And it’s the truth whether the sunshine spewers wanna face it or not.

I was watching this show and this teenage girl with bipolar and anxiety was trying to explain to someone her behavior and she said, “I have…all this stuff going on in my head…”

And the person she was talking to said, “We all do.”

Um…NO. Everyone has emotional turmoil, shitty personal circumstances…Those with mental illness have all that AND a wonky brain sending the wrong messages 24-7 so pardon me if I think I have a bit more on my plate than the mundanes. They’d never make it a day in my shoes.

I am contemplating mowing the lawn. The landlord is probably gonna leave a note if I don’t do it soon. Yet…My give a damn is beyond busted. It belongs on the side of a milk carton. Hell, my entire being belongs there cos it’s been MIA for so damned long.

Xanax time, I’m starting to freak out and feel overwhelmed with that gnawing T-Rex of anxiety.

Bipolar and anxiety are the exercise bike of life. Except no matter how many miles I pedal, no matter how much I sweat…I can’t lose a pound or even get healthier. I just go nowhere,  lather, rinse, repeat.


Always the Way

Yanno, if there was one thing I sincerely wish that my brain would quit doing before medical appointments, it would be that it quit catastrophising and insisting that everything is going to go to hell. I can sort of understand why it still does it; I didn’t have any practical experience as a patient until I moved here 8 years and change ago, and it took me a couple of false starts to get into the mental health services properly. So in that, my brain is still having to recondition itself to expect better.

So of course, we were late. My husband and I have differing ideas on what constitutes on time. I was raised on the idea that if you weren’t 15 minutes early, you were late, while he is excellent at arriving promptly. To adjust to this, I quit paying attention to time when it comes to getting to appointments, and therefore was surprised to find out we were late. It was only a few minutes though and didn’t interfere with the appointment thankfully. I was pleased that I took this all calmly and didn’t have any sort of angry or anxious reaction. It goes to show that some progress has certainly occurred in my ability to cope with things.

It also meant that I got confirmation while we were waiting that I was indeed due to see Dr. K. I generally like Dr. Z as well, but because my moods haven’t been stable, seeing him would have disrupted the work that I’ve been doing with Dr. K towards euthymia (not that I think I’m ever going to reach it, but that’s another thing). Like, if I’m doing mainly fine, I’m happy to sit with Dr. Z and his students, because I know my case and my background gives medical students a better idea of how to deal with and treat people from other countries. For example, my local area has a high American and Italian population. Both populations speak significantly faster than the native British and immigrant Asian populations, and therefore the latter pair need to be aware that our fast-speaking ways is not necessarily a sign of pressured speech and/or hypo/mania.

So yes, was back in with Dr. K. She apologised profusely because she’s been covering for so many people over the summer that she’s not gotten back to my ADHD stuff. She wants to make very sure she has it as pinned down and perfect as possible so they don’t reject it  yet again, and in that, I gave her a little bit more to build my case. I also printed out an article that a friend gave me on ADHD and bipolar that I thought would be of interest to her. I also mentioned that I did a lot of writing and advocacy stuff like running The Bipolar Blogger Network, which she was well impressed with and thought would be a useful thing to potentially mention to her other patients. So that was pretty cool, and I was once again reminded that I am happy in her care and believe that we’ve got a good thing going.

The one thing that I didn’t expect out of the appointment that I’m not overly bothered with was that she wanted to double the Depakote from 500mg a day to 500mg twice a day. I’d commented that I was aware that 750mg was considered to be the therapeutic dose, and the husband and I figured that she wanted to wait before pushing it up to that due to the chance of really nasty side effects. I’d said to her I wasn’t sure it was doing anything good, but it certainly wasn’t doing anything bad, so we’ll see what happens. She was also okay with me taking all my Seroquel at night rather than splitting it if that is working for me, so that was also good,

I also asked her about whether or not I needed to leave the Depakote in the blister pack rather than in my pillbox. She said she was pretty sure it was supposed to stay in the blister pack until it was used for proper efficacy, but to ask the pharmacist. So we’ll make sure to do that one way or the other.

So yeah, hooray for that I guess. I still retain some of the worst features of my pre-appointment day, namely shakiness and totally crippling fatigue. But I’m back in jammies and hopefully can stay still enough here in my chair to at least like, knit or something. We’ll see.

Hope everyone is alright out there.



Originally posted on dianetharp70's Blog:




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I Spoke Too Soon

…about never having known someone who committed suicide.

I have now.

What’s worse is, he took his family with him. Lord knows I understand what kind of desperation it takes to follow through on the urge to self-destruct, but for someone to go into rooms and summarily execute his spouse and children, one by one…well, I can’t even wrap my head around it.

There have been several news stories about possible financial problems and a huge lawsuit, but none of us who knew and cared about this man would have thought for an instant that he was capable of doing this. He was kind and generous to many people, myself included; he was creative and smart and funny; and even when he had to tell you something you didn’t want to hear, he did it with such gentleness that you couldn’t help being grateful he was the one to deliver the bad news.

But something drove him mad, and now we will never know what it was.

I know everyone has a dark side. We never really know for sure what we are capable of until we face a situation that we can’t control and lose ourselves in that darkness. I remember feeling that way last fall when life had become so unbearable that I came thisclose to killing myself.  But I wouldn’t have taken anyone else out. The thought never even crossed my mind. All I could think of was how the rest of my family would be better off if I were out of the picture…if they no longer had to worry about me.

Maybe my friend took those thoughts a step further. Maybe the legal action would result in his losing much of his wealth, which he might have believed would cause utter ruin for him and his family. He had created a huge Internet empire, and he enjoyed the fruits of his labors; the family took frequent vacations to exotic locations and lived in a multimillion-dollar mansion with an eight-car garage. Maybe he just couldn’t bear the thought of being disgraced in the media and the virtual community he founded and built with his own two hands.

And, maybe that darkness that resides in all of us overwhelmed his defenses and led him to destroy his beautiful family. Who knows what was going through his mind as he went from bedroom to bedroom, shooting each of his sleeping children and his wife in the head before turning the gun on himself? I just can’t reconcile the man I knew with the one who did this.

Obviously, no one will ever know for sure why it happened. We who cared about him can speculate until the cows come home, but the answers to this mystery died with him and his loved ones on that September night. There will be no closure. One day you’ll probably see it on one of those true-crime stories on the ID channel where they have shows like “Forensic Files”, or you’ll read about it in an Ann Rule book.

In the meantime, I mourn his loss and that of his family—especially his three teenaged children—and I think I finally understand that I don’t have the power to see another person’s heart… and thus cannot judge what is inside it.

Rest in peace, friend. May you find forgiveness, and may you find the peace that eluded you in this life.






ingratitude list (day two)

I’m utterly grouchy, check this out instead. I take a word, a simple concept and I stare hard at it until I see every molecule, but the molecules vibrate (as molecules must) and I have no fucking idea what shape they ought to be. Gratitude. Gra-ti-fucking-tude. Wtf, tribe, wtf. noun: gratitude the quality of being…